Many people after a total knee arthroplasty (TKA) never achieve the same level of function as a similarly aged person without knee problems. However, a recent study published in Physiotherapy Theory and Function indicates that a progressive strengthening program will likely bring their function to higher levels than those who do not receive that type of care.
Progressive strengthening, in this case, means that the study participants received a number of physical therapy visits after surgery during which strengthening exercises were given. These were progressively increased to maintain maximum effort for 3 sets of 20 for all exercises. The normal standard of care group focused primarily on range of motion, cycling and straight leg raising exercises without weight.
The study found that a larger portion of patients who received progressive strengthening exercises achieved normal clinical and functional scores. This indicates that although all patients may not achieve normal function after a TKA, those receiving this type of treatment have a better chance of returning to normal function.